Southern History and Civil Rights in the News 1 January 2021

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Southern History and Civil Rights in the News

1 January 2021


2021 is finally here and that means retrospectives on the year just passed, as well as some things to look forward to in the new year. NBC News shared a memorial to twelve trailblazing women from disparate fields. Stefan M Bradley, Professor of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University, wrote of the unfulfilled promise of the classic civil rights era in The Washington Post.


Looking forward, part of the massive spending bill passed recently includes authorization to begin work on both an American Women’s History Museum and the National Museum of the American Latino. You can read coverage from The Washington Post here, and CNN here. PBS reported on possible steps for Black civil rights moving forward. Likewise, the Brennan Center for Justice has published a list of the ten most important items that must be tackled in the coming year to ensure "Democracy, Justice, and Civil Liberties."


In news of the week, Hank Adams, long-revered Native American civil rights advocate and crafter of many of the rights included in treaty provisions between Indigenous peoples and the national government from the 1960s on, is yet another of the towering civil rights figures lost in 2020, as NPR reported.


Ann Marie Cunningham of the Mississippi Center for Investigative Journalism told the story of a children’s march on the Mississippi Public Broadcasting building in Jackson, MS, after the State Commission for Educational Television voted to ban Big Bird and friends in 1970. The commission feared that the show’s integrated cast would influence the young children and continue to erode the bulwark of white supremacy.


Florida Today (Brevard County) reported that the story of Harry and Harriette Moore, former educators in Mims, FL, and considered by some the “first martyrs of the civil rights movement,” is being incorporated in the Brevard schools’ curriculum seventy years after their deaths from a bombing on Christmas night 1951. Additionally, there is a movement to have the pair, who were fired for their civil rights activities six years prior the bombing, posthumously reinstated to their jobs.


Until next week, stay well,


Michele “Scout” Johnson

Editor, H-South


This series of weekly posts to H-South, “Southern History and Civil Rights in the News,” aims to track informed public discussions of southern history and civil rights. To recommend a reading, please email Dr. Michele Johnson at